ARLINGTON, Texas – If you were encouraged by Terence Crawford sitting ringside Saturday night, you probably won’t want to read Errol Spence Jr.’s reaction to Crawford attending his fight against Danny Garcia. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
When asked afterward if Crawford’s appearance at AT&T Stadium meant momentum was building toward them finally fighting next, Spence sternly said “no” during a post-fight press conference. Spence emphasized that he is planning to return to the ring sometime in the summer, but he didn’t exactly express interest in facing Crawford next in the immediate aftermath of his 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Garcia (37-3, 21 KOs).
“I mean, he gotta live up to his words,” Spence said. “If he say he’s not worried about me, then I don’t know what he was doing here. I probably wouldn’t go to none of his fights, so I’m not worried about Terence Crawford. Like I said, I’m gonna enjoy my time with my kids and chill out, and just reflect on this year-and-a-half that, you know, I came back and, you know, we’re gonna move on to the summertime and see who I fight. So, we’ll see. I’ve gotta talk to my manager, Al Haymon, and we’ll go from there.”
The pro-Spence crowd booed Crawford loudly before the start of the 10th round Saturday night, when Spence’s nemesis was shown on the huge screen above the ring at AT&T Stadium.
Crawford-Spence seemingly is the biggest boxing match that can be made in 2021 outside of the heavyweight division. Crawford, the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion from Omaha, Nebraska, said before and after his fourth-round stoppage of Kell Brook on November 14 in Las Vegas that he isn’t worried about whether his showdown with Spence ever happens.
Crawford’s contractual status with longtime promoter Bob Arum and Arum’s criticism of Crawford following the Brook bout has fueled speculation regarding Crawford joining Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions sometime next year. If Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) were to leave Arum’s Top Rank Inc. for PBC, it would make Crawford-Spence easier to put together than if Crawford remains with Arum’s company.
Top Rank doesn’t have any welterweights under contract that are attractive opponents for Crawford to fight next, but Arum and Crawford have said they want to revisit negotiations for a lucrative fight against Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino legend was willing to face Crawford last month, but talks for that fight to take place in the Middle East ceased once it became clear fans would not be able to attend if they fought there.
PBC, meanwhile, has promotable opponents for Spence to face when he returns in the summer – most notably Pacquiao, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) has fought for PBC in his last two bouts, but Pacquiao also is considering facing Crawford and Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs). Spence topped Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) by split decision in an entertaining, 12-round, 147-pound title unification fight in September 2019 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) has said he doesn’t want to fight Thurman, but their rivalry could lead to them meeting next year. Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) has lost only a split decision to Pacquiao and he has beaten Porter by unanimous decision.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.